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Putting People First

Daily insights on user experience, experience design and people-centred innovation
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October 2005
24 October 2005

Perspectives on Design and Strategy

Perspectives_idsc
“Perspectives on Design and Strategy: Points of view from the 2005 Institute of Design Strategy Conference”, published by the Institute of Design, IIT offers interviews with several contributors on the subject of how design in starting to appear in general business strategy and what that might mean.

‘Consumers now get angry when the interaction design of a product or service is not perfect. People used to think it was they who were stupid; now they say the offering and the company are stupid.

‘But design knowledge is more than just methods of understanding users. Executives are using design in the early stages of their processes and in solving types of problems that traditionally have not involved designers. This is in stark contrast to the conventional model of the past in which design was involved late in the process, making decisions about visual form after engineering and marketing had defined the basic direction,’ says Patrick Whitney, Director, Institute of Design, IIT, in his introduction.

Points of View from the 2005 Institute of Design Strategy Conference.
Institute of Design at IIT

Chicago
Josephine Green / Philips Design
Larry Keeley / Doblin Inc
Donald Norman / Neilsen Norman Group
GK VanPatter / Humantific / NextDesign Leadership Institute
Patrick Whitney / Institute of Design at Illinois Institute of Technology

Download book preview (pdf, 120 kb, 17 pages)

(Content from NextDesign Leadership Institute: New York, www.nextd.org

(via UsabilityNews)

24 October 2005

The innovation toolbox

Innovation_toolbox
A dramatic transformation is occurring within the design industry. Front runners among strategic design agencies are working in increasingly complex projects and are starting to redefine their role and services in relation to corporate clients.

This development is taking place along with an increased demand in the market place for new thinking and new ways of innovating. In the face of globalisation, successful corporations can no longer attain growth through optimisation of processes alone instead they must accelerate their innovation rate. Several professional design agencies have been aware of the existence of a new opportunity for quite some time and have been working hard to become strategic innovation partners for corporate clients.

By Sunne Aagaard & Silje Kamille Friis
New Design Business Journalists
Copenhagen, Denmark
Written for a special issue of the journal; Monday Morning
Developed in collaboration with INDEX entitled: ‘Entering the Creativity Economy’.

Download article (pdf, 176 kb, 4 pages)

(Content from NextDesign Leadership Institute: New York, www.nextd.org

23 October 2005

Cows milk themselves, down on the robotic farm [The Times]

Cows_milking_themselves
It’s not for people, but is definitely is “experience design”:

Farmers have teamed up with scientists to create a farm where the cows choose when they want to be milked using automated booths. The parlour, developed in Holland, is already in use in more than 30 British farms. The farmer can even go on holiday and allow the animals to look after themselves.

“The cows set their own agenda,” said Neil Rowe, manager of Manor Farm in Oxfordshire. “It’s about autonomy, it’s about enrichment, it’s about stepping back and allowing the cows and the system to develop a relationship.”

Cattle wander from field to parlour when they want to be milked. They find their way into automated milking stalls, where a computer scans a microchip implanted in the animal’s collar which holds information on its milking history and health.

Robotic milking machines then locate the cow’s udder guided by lasers and ultrasound. The equipment prepares the cow by washing, sterilising and massaging its teats before collecting the milk — which is instantly cooled and stored.

The animals are lured into the parlour with inducements including a hair-brushing and scratching device which they can turn on themselves using a “nudge trigger” and a fan to blow away flies.

Other perks include an hourly mechanised “mucking out” system and even piped music. If a cow develops a problem while being milked, the system alerts the farmer on his mobile phone.

Read full story

(via we-make-money-not-art)

20 October 2005

Building in green [Newsweek]

Mcdonough
Can China move 400 million people to its cities without wreaking environmental havoc? Eco-urban designer William McDonough says yes—and Beijing is listening.

Beijing is now orchestrating an industrial revolution, hoping to telescope into a few decades what it took Western countries a century or two to accomplish. The plan is to move 400 million people—about half the rural population—into urban centers by 2030. Doing so will require expanding towns into cities and even building new metropolises from scratch. That also means creating education, security and economic policies to help the masses adjust to the speedy transition from an agrarian to an urban society.

How China manages this transformation will have a huge impact on the country’s—indeed, the world’s—environment, and its social stability. McDonough’s projects in six major cities are China’s biggest experiment in ecologically sound development. If all goes well, his brand of ecodesign could serve as a model for China’s new urbanism.

Read full story

19 October 2005

Proceedings of EU workshop on digital inclusion and participation

I2010_eeurope_logo
The Workshop on Digital Inclusion and Participation in Brussels on 23 September 2005 aimed at setting the scene for the EU’s i2010 ambitions: an inclusive information society that provides high quality public services and promotes quality of life. It involved representatives from civil society, industry, academia, EU Member States and the EU Commission.

The proceedings are now available online.

Download presentations

(The i2010 website, developed by the EU directorate general for Information Society and Media to promote inclusion, is unfortunately just about the opposite of accessibility and inclusivity. Why can’t the EU not learn lessons from the failed referendums this year? Why not communicate in a language that is people-centred rather than presenting a homepage where the introduction is in a series of downloads and the rest of the text is focused on a mysterious “Communication” which the EU has prepared? The EU vice-president Margot Wallstrom, who is since last year responsible for institutional relations and communications, should perhaps develop some basic EU communications standards. They are urgently needed.)

19 October 2005

The upgraded digital divide [Knowledge@Wharton]

Upgraded_digital_divide
The upgraded digital divide: are we developing new technologies faster than consumers can use them?

TiVos and Treos and BlackBerrys. Wi-Fi and HDTV and plasma screens. Picture phones, digital cameras, iPods and now iPod cell phones. Complexity among consumer technology products has never been greater — a good thing if the complexity means product improvement.

But Wharton experts say new bells and whistles pose challenges to businesses and consumers alike. Complexity — along with choice — can have a big impact on how firms make and market new and improved gizmos, and on the decision processes of the people expected to buy them.

Are we at a point, one commentator asks, where the next innovation will actually be the idea that ease of use is the most compelling feature of tech products?

Read full story

(via Usability News)

19 October 2005

New York Times Magazine on human computer interaction

Life_hackers
Can anyone find a way to make your constantly beeping and dinging computer leave you alone and let you work?

A long story in the New York Times Magazine explores HCI, the study of office work and the nascent field of interruption science.

Read full story

18 October 2005

Experientia site launch

Experientia
Today we launched the website of Experientia, the new experience design company founded by business specialist Pierpaolo Perotto, usability expert Michele Visciola, user experience strategist Jan-Christoph Zoels and communication strategist Mark Vanderbeeken.

The site contains plenty of information on who we are, our approach and our experiences. In a few days we will also add the Italian version of the site and upgrade the design of this blog.

Please feel free to provide us with your feedback.

The site was built in WordPress by Beverly Tang. Photography and site design are by Experientia partner Jan-Christoph Zoels and designer Aram Armstrong. Logo design is by Christian Palino. Texts are by all of us, and I took care of editing and project management.

18 October 2005

Philips magazine on designing for the future

Newvalue26
The October 2006 issue of “new value by One Design”, the quarterly magazine of Philips Design, looks at design leadership, design as a tool for visualising the future, and senior management visions on the future of design at Philips.

Read web edition of the magazine

18 October 2005

Ultimate newspaper of the future?

Informlogomain
“Strange that Inform.com, the latest online newsreader, didn’t include its own much-promoted launch in today’s inaugural Lead Story headlines. It didn’t make its own business or tech sections either. Not even entertainment. Remarkable editorial restraint, I’d say, for a startup that touts itself as the “ultimate newspaper of the future,” according to the New York Times.

The future, we’re told, is mega-tagging, the site’s automated mathematical classification of news-article elements into related topics like industry, organization, person, place and product. That enables users (er, readers) to quickly dig deeper into breaking stories by searching a highly-structured list of relevant news devoid of the usual noise of most search-engine results.”

(copied from a post by Angus Loten on the Fast Company blog)

18 October 2005

In-depth interview with Tom Kelley of IDEO

Tomkelley
Dave Iverson of San Francisco public radio station KQED interviews Tom Kelley, the general manager of IDEO, about his new book The Ten Faces of Innovation.

The 45 minute interview focuses on how to encourage and recognise daily innovation and creativity, assessing what tools, talents, or personas drive innovative projects and ideas.

Listen to podcast

(via metacool)

18 October 2005

Experience economy presentation by e-Strategic Research

Exp_econ_presentation
“The experience economy: the evaluation of emerging market opportunities for growing your business” is the title of an e-book presentation by e-Strategic Research, inc, the California based market research consultancy.

The e-report offers a synthesis of theory and practice as it relates to marketing strategy within the Experience Economy framework.

The story begins with a brief introduction on the work of Pine and Gilmore, two thought leaders that lay out the first comprehensive framework for defining The Experience Economy, and who offer to us a convincing argument as to why the Experience Economy is something we all need to explore.

What follows is an exploration into the various antecedents which are now propelling us forward into deeper waters of this new competitive environment. Many case studies are offered on how these ideas have been put into practice by marketers who have been among the first to experiment with innovative marketing strategies, collectively referred to herein as “experience marketing.”

Finally, embedded within the entire document are various points of reference that highlight ways in which firms can incorporate some of these ideas intoyour marketing practices.

Download presentation (pdf, 132 kb, 45 pages)

(via CPH127)

18 October 2005

Proceedings international conference on inclusive design

Include_2005
As companies seek a better understanding of their customers, designers explore more user-centred methods and educators introduce social issues into the curriculum, the time is right for inclusive design.

That was the encouraging message to emerge from the third Include conference held at the Royal College of Art, 5-8 April 2005, which was attended by 170 delegates from 19 different countries (up from 14 in 2003).

In paper sessions, poster presentations, workshops, panel discussions and design stories, the mood was clear: business, the design profession and academia are all gearing up to create a more inclusive future in which empathy with users of all ages and abilities holds the key to commercial success and social equity.

Proceedings website
Download proceedings (pdf, 1.1 mb, 132 pages)

(via CPH127)

18 October 2005

Creating and communicating value(s) [Design Management Journal]

 
By affecting how people think and act and by connecting an organisation to its constituents’ values, design can enhance performance.

In this article for the Design Management Journal, Roger Sametz and Andrew Maydoney of Sametz Blackstone Associates (a strategic communications practice) present a model of design that articulates these outcomes and how best to leverage them. Their discussion is about communications design, but their insights are applicable across a range of design arenas.

Download article (pdf, 2.5 mb, 20 pages)

(via CPH127)

17 October 2005

Tracking cell phones to map real-time traffic conditions [CNN]

Monitoringmotoristsap
In what would be the largest project of its kind, the Missouri Department of Transportation is finalising a contract to monitor thousands of cell phones, using their movements to map real-time traffic conditions statewide on all 5,500 miles of major roads.

It’s just one of a number of initiatives to more intelligently manage traffic flow through wireless data collection.

Cell phone monitoring already is being used by transportation officials in Baltimore, though not yet to relay traffic conditions to the public. Similar projects are getting underway in Norfolk, Virginia, and a stretch of Interstate 75 between Atlanta and Macon, Georgia.

But the Missouri project is by far the most aggressive — tracking wireless phones across the whole state, including in rural areas with lower traffic counts, and for the explicit purpose of relaying the information to other travelers.

Read full story

17 October 2005

Cell phones reshaping Africa [CNN]

Storyafricacellularap
Cell phones made up 74.6 percent of all African phone subscriptions last year, says the U.N.’s International Telecommunication Union. Cell phone subscriptions jumped 67 percent south of the Sahara in 2004, compared with 10 percent in cell-phone-saturated Western Europe, according to Mo Ibrahim, the Sudanese who chairs Celtel, a leading African provider.

An industry that barely existed 10 years ago is now worth $25 billion, he says. Prepaid air minutes are the preferred means of usage and have created their own $2 billion-a-year industry of small-time vendors, the Celtel chief says. Air minutes have even become a form of currency, transactable from phone to phone by text message, he says.

Read full story

17 October 2005

Philips field testing in the favelas of Brazil

Voices_hand
Voices in Your Hand is a humanitarian project, sponsored by Philips Electronics, to create a simple, voice-email handset and cheap audio services to help urban shantytowns and isolated rural areas in the developing world, overcoming illiteracy or minority languages.

The project is now in a field testing phase in the favela of Recife, Brazil, and testing results have taken them in a direction they did not initially anticipate. It appears that real-time connectivity is not the biggest issue, so devices which are essentially modified mp3 players you occasionally connect to the web in telecenters to send and receive voice and text messages are good enough (and much cheaper than cell
phones).

Further reporting by WorldChanging, Paul Rankin (a Philips Research fellow) and by Philips itself.

17 October 2005

The design of things to come

Design_of_things_to_come
From strategy, brand and innovation to product, service and experience

Businesses fifteen years ago referred to everything as product, and the focus was on how to make those products robust. A new life insurance policy was referred to as a product, as was software and a laptop computer.

Then products gave way to describing the ability to provide experiences, and the product took a secondary role to the new emphasis on the transactional experience between a consumer and the company’s tangible or intangible products. Success was measured by the quality of experience.

The focus on product experience is transforming into the experience of service. The challenge now is to redefine your output in terms of the service it provides. The shift to focus on service requires learning what your core value is, and translating that to your brand identity. As service becomes the core of the brand of the company, products become its delivery system.

Read full story

The book “Design of Things to Come:How Ordinary People Create Extraordinary Products”

(via CPH127)

17 October 2005

Making sense – design for well-being

Making_sense
The theme of this doctoral dissertation, entitled “Making Sense – Design for Well-being” is the design of IT artefacts for increased well-being in the home.

The goal of this publication, written by Sara Ilstedt Hjelm at KTH, Sweden, was to provide a better understanding of the coupling between design and health, and to give examples of how to design for increased well-being. The context for the investigation was the home, and various research initiatives in smart homes and IT-supported care.

The empirical work reported in the dissertation consists of four case studies related to IT artefacts for well-being. The case studies include field studies, critical analysis, design concepts, prototype building and evaluation.

Based on the findings in these studies, four considerations for design of interactive systems for the home are suggested: design for understanding, for detecting and managing of errors, for disabling and for alternative coping.

Download dissertation (pdf, 3.8 mb, 211 pages)

(via CPH127)

17 October 2005

Researchers explore impact of wireless communication on development

Annenberg_research
The growing role of wireless communication in international economic development was the focus of a major research workshop organised by the Annenberg Research Network on International Communication.

The October 7-8, 2005 gathering of the world’s leading global communication researchers included participants from India, Kenya, Indonesia, Chile, Mexico, China and England, among other nations. They represented NGOs, academic institutions and international corporations.

According to Francois Bar, communication professor and conference co-organiser, “Wireless technologies, from cell phones to Wi-Fi, hold tremendous promise for economic development. The workshop was a chance to begin a systematic analysis of wireless policies, deployment strategies and user practices across the developing world.”

Download conference papers and presentations

(via Annenberg Newswire and Francois Bar)